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Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SPACE CHILDREN  Season 9, Ep 6

Kids serve the telepathic bidding of a Blob from Space to sabotage military weapons. The twist: the Blob is a good guy! With short Century 21 Calling: At the Seattle World's Fair, everyone is excited about PHONES. You'll be able to record frequently-called numbers onto little plastic cards! An uncommonly ridiculous movie and short combo. Warning: contains Uncle Fester in shorts! This is another episode that's not on DVD, and probably never will be. Vimeo (1h32m) Premiered June 13, 1998. 20 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 13, 2017 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEADLY BEES  Season 9, Ep 5

"hives of horror! Excited by the smell of fear they inflict their fatal stings!" A British singer collapses on television and is sent to the countryside to recuperate. I guess she shouldn't have used AirB&B. Also apparently the British take forever to investigate anything. This episode is infamously unavailable commercially by any means, not YouTube, DVD, Video on Demand or streaming; it's one of those final few episodes where the copyright owners seem almost affronted at the temerity of that Midwest puppet show at making fun of their movie and have refused to license it for release. In subplot news, the other Observers are back and try to take Brain Guy away. Pearl and Bobo's attempts at getting him to stay is as close to touching as this deeply ridiculous show ever gets. Premiered May 9, 1998. 21 episodes left. (guy with bowler hat appears mysteriously, nods, and walks off into distance) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 7, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WEREWOLF  Season 9, Ep 4

aka Arizona Werewolf. "Rest in... beast." Did you know you can contract werewolfism through improper handling of teeth? Yuri discovers this and infects Paul with Involuntary Furry Syndrome. He did this to make money exhibiting Paul-as-wolf, since as we all know sideshow exhibitions are so very lucrative. Paul escapes this fate through the application of a timely mauling and hooks up with his GF, who becomes a werewolf too. Now the two of them spend their nights terrorizing the townfolk; what a romantic ending! It's another fan favorite episode! When this episode was made, the movie was only three years old! This is the episode with the brilliant "Tusk!" bit over the movie's credits music. Satellite News subsite Ward E cataloged all the references, and this YouTube video overlays the MST versions with the originals (2m). YouTube (1h32m). Premiered April 18, 1998. 22 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 29, 2017 - 17 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PUMAMAN  Season 9, Ep 3

AKA "L'uoma Puma." Donald Pleasence has stolen a mind-control mask, and it's up to The Pumaman to stop him! But we don't know who that is yet! So faithful priest Vadinho throws people out of windows until he finds the one guy who survives it: must be him. Watch him soar through the air with the opposite of grace! We are all surely doomed. This is a beloved episode, the riffing is terrific throughout. The great improbability that our hero could be an Anything Man makes the whole thing ridiculous on its face, but it keeps on stretching the premise further and further. In Castle Forrester, Pearl plans a ball but Brain Guy's party to watch the new episode of Sliders is more popular. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered April 4, 1998. 23 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 16, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PROJECTED MAN  Season 9, Ep 1

"Born a man... turned into a living laser beam by science's most gruesome experiment!" "A Billion Volts of Death in Every Finger!" Another dang fool scientist is inventing a teleporter, and again he's impatient for results so he tests it on himself and becomes a monster. Isn't it weird when a movie's hubristic Tampering In God's Domain amounts to moving somewhere? Hey here's a thought, why not just walk a few steps across the room and maybe not turn into a deformed horror? Lembeck is staying! The movie's okay but the thing about this episode is that the "endless chase" subplot is finally over, although it takes a season for the opening theme to catch up with this fact. Pearl and henchies finally arrive at and settle into ancestral family home Castle Forrester, the show's site until the end of the classic era. Pearl discovers a family history in which she finds out her family has been forcing bad art on hapless subjects for ages. In this, we find out that the female half of her family basically have the same first-naming conventions as the Crystal Gems, which could make for some really odd fanfiction if anyone wants to write it. (Kinga breaks that trend though.) YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 22, 1997. 25 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 2, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK  Season 8, Ep 22

"Caught in a future world, his only escape is back in time." Raul Julia is Aram Fingal, who lives in a future dystopia and gets in trouble by scrolling up Casablanca at his data entry job. So he's doppled into a baboon--thankfully, not an anteater--but an impish schoolkid loses his body, so he's then-doppled into the world-running computer for safe keeping. He pretends to be Rick from Casablanca, meets his dead mom of whom he asks, "My nuts?" and runs afoul of both computech Apollonia Jones and the CEO of Novicorp. Look, I've seen the movie several times and I'm just as lost as you are. This has gotta be the most nonsensical movie in MST3K's rich history of nonsense. Gloriously silly and yet seems not to even notice. Made for public television, it's another strong contender for Worst Movie They Riffed. It's filled with heaping helpings of made-up future jargon like a kind of sad Nadsat. Get ready everyone, it's Fingal time! In the host segments, Pearl decides to run her own pledge drive and rake in the dollars. This is the end of season eight of Mystery Science Theater 3000. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 22, 1997. 26 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 26, 2017 - 33 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TIME CHASERS  Season 8, Ep 21

aka Tangents. "His Mission is to Save the Future. But Time Waits For No Man...." A guy invents a time machine in his airplane, but a huge corporation plans on misusing it. Yeah, it's kind of like if Michael Moore made Back To The Future. Wow, evil corporations, huh? You can always turn to them when you need a good villain. I am not pointing this out to subvert it; they are a power for evil in our world, a blight upon the land. Anyway, this is a pretty darn decent episode. Thankfully all that Roman Times stuff is over with, and for the last couple of episodes of Season 8 the show was free to just drift out in space (well, that and a public television station, we'll get into that next week). Mike and Pearl have a nice little talk in the Widowmaker! It's nice to see neighbors get along, even when one of them is a mad scientist and the other is her hapless movie-watching victim. Also, in the movie segments, a couple of segments have the big brother of Mike (the character), Eddie, in the theater, played by Mike (the actor), who is rather less congenial than Mike (the character). Er, you understood that, right? Observer gets in a visual riff during the credits! And at the end there's a spare Crow hanging out in Minnesota who is never mentioned again. Next week is the last episode of Season 8. Episode 821 TIME CHASERS does not appear to be on YouTube. Premiered November 22, 1997. 27 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 18, 2017 - 11 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SPACE MUTINY  Season 8, Ep 20

aka "Mutiny in Space" "There Is Nowhere to Hide from the Enemy Within!" On a colony ship sailing through the void of space, very very white people fight off a rebellion of equally-white mutineers. Titles provided by an Apple ][. This movie falls right in that zone of inept yet not abysmal, and the riffing is great. Not only do I think it's a terrific introductory episode, so does the A.V. Club. This is the episode where they keep making up names for the beefy guy ("David Ryder"). Slab Bulkhead! Fridge Largemeat! Punt Speedchunk! Here's a list of them! Here's a supercut! In subplot news, it's finally the last of the Roman Times episodes, preparing for the premise that would carry the series to the end of its original run. YouTube (warning: ad in annotations) Premiered November 7, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 12, 2017 - 17 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.  Season 8, Ep 15

"A blast of blood-curdling terror from outer space!" "They used the world's deadliest weapons against this super-secret agent! Women! Women! Women!" A spy tries to stop the use of a flesh-decaying substance from being used for evil by commies. Generally a good episode I think, in the middle of a streak of good episodes. This is the one where Mike is put on cosmic trial for blowing up those planets. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered August 2, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 7, 2017 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RIDING WITH DEATH  Season 8, Ep 14

"An Unforgettable Excursion Into Adventure." Two stories with little in common except that they deal with the adventures of a secret agent guy who can become invisible, stitched together from the 70s show Gemini Man. Why a guy who can become invisible is called Gemini Man escapes me. Another popular episode among fan reviewers, the most amazing thing about it is that TV's Frank wasn't on hand to select it. I like to think his spirit (having temporarily escaped his body) hovers over the episode. Lots of riffs on the actors (especially lead Ben Murphy) and their other roles. Sketches are weird but fun, including Mike as a teppanyaki chef and Crow as Turkey Volume Guessing Man. Promos - YouTube (1h30m) Premiered July 19, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 31, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: JACK FROST  Season 8, Ep 13

AKA "Morozko," or (stupidly) "Frosty." "All the magic of the winter-time wonder-maker to fascinate young and old!" A headstrong Russian guy gets into trouble with a mushroom sprite and his head's turned into that of a bear. Meanwhile a girl has parent issues and is abandoned in the woods. Can Father Frost get these two knuckleheads together? A throwback to the Russian movies of the Comedy Central era, it's another fairly good folktale adaptation made riffing fodder mostly through no fault of its own, the comedy coming from a dreamlike atmosphere, cultural barriers, and the fact that most folktales are pretty dang weird anyway. In the channel-mandated subplot, Pearl's still on her way back from dropping off the space children, leaving Brain Guy and Bobo to bond on Camping Planet. The word is that this movie is shown in some countries on TV around Christmastime, which may explain why it isn't on YouTube in entirety, although there is a 38-minute Best Of reel. If you can find it, it's a classic episode. Promo. Premiered July 12, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 24, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING & BECAME MIXEDUP ZOMBIES  Season 8, Ep 12

(Note: title slightly condensed to fit in the form) "MONSTERS COME REAL! CRASH OUT OF SCREEN! INVADE AUDIENCE! ABDUCT GIRLS FROM THEIR SEATS! Not 3-D. Don't Miss It!" "SEE: The world's first monster musical!" Why do supposedly powerful magicians and sorceresses work at carnivals? Estrella tells fortunes, hypnotises people to make them kill her enemies, and keeps a small heard of mixed-up zombies, overseen by her employee Ortega. In between scenes, there are pointless musical numbers. This one's a full 10/10 for pain folks, beware! Some consider it to be one of the worst movies ever made, and it is the first such MST film of the Sci-Fi Channel era. It is extremely weird at the very least. In the subplot, Pearl takes the space children from last week to return them to their parents, and Observer has a very bad experience with Bobo. Promo - YouTube, Official, with Annotations! (1h32m) Premiered June 14, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 16, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION  Season 8, Ep 10

"Creeping!... Clawing!... Crushing!" Spider! He is our hero! Well it's not the hero of a small town in Wisconson, as it goes around eating residents, or it would be if he were actually a spider and not a poor special effect. Rioting and chaos are left in its wake. Guys, maybe it's friendly, and is trying to communicate by killing us? Okay maybe not. The movie this week is, once again, tough going. It's brought to us by MST All-Star Bill Rebane, who made... (wait for it)... MONSTER A-GO-GO. Mwa-ha-ha-ha! A film of the genre of people getting devoured by an otherworldly menace, in which way it is eventually poisoned by their accumulated awfulness. In Subplot Land, Pearl's group and the SOL are bothered by pod people. MRxL MRxL MRxL! GO PACKERS WHOOO YouTube (1h33m) Promo Premiered May 5, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 2, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AT THE EARTH'S CORE  Season 11, Ep 14

"Take the Most Terrifying Journey of Your Life!" "4,000 miles to the center of the earth is a world within our world." We've already been to the Center of the Earth with Kathy Ireland in a Jules Verne adaptation, let's now make the trip with Edgar Rice Burroughs why not. This one's got less vaguely Austrialian dystopia and more dinosaurs and cavepeeps. The day of Kinga's ordained wedding (by Kinga) to Jonah for ratings has arrived and Max isn't too happy about it. We also visit with Pearl and company again, meet the Head Observer, through whom we learn you can hire Observers out to fill out crowds, which is pretty enterprising of the omniscient brainguys. And we meet Jonah's robot Growther and a "Reptilicus Metallicus." Also, cliffhanger ending! Creepy outro! Episode 1114, the final episode of Season 11, is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 12, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CARNIVAL MAGIC  Season 11, Ep 12

"Elvin Feltner Presents..." A two-bit magician at a one-bit carnival turns out to have the one thing that could make his act quasi-bearable, a sorta-talking chimpanzee. If animals could talk what would they say? According to this movie, absolutely nothing of interest. Beware guys, this movie is the closest we come in Season 11 to the abysmal category, the realm of Manos, Hobgoblins and Monster A-Go-Go. The carnival itself puts out some serious Pirates World vibes. In subplot news, Kinga reveals her diabolical plan to increase her ratings by marrying Jonah. Oh, and there's a guest appearance by someone you may have heard of: Mark Hamill. Episode 1112 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 28, 2017 - 34 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM II  Season 11, Ep 11

"Across the Sea of Dreams... behind the Curtain of Time... lies the land of ultimate fantasy." I bet you weren't looking forward to another visit to the world of last week's movie. Good news, other than the name and executive producer Roger Corman, this movie has nothing to do with the first one! A shepherd who's also a wizard tries to save the world from bad wizards blah blah Tolkien Eddings Brooks. A lot of people think Part 1 was a highlight of the season, but many also think this is a lowlight, so beware guys. A subplot begins in this episode, with Kinga deciding to marry Jonah. And we have another visit from Pearl! Episode 1111 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 21, 2017 - 18 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM I  Season 11, Ep 10

"On The Far Edge Of Fantasy The Ultimate Conflict Is Drawing Near" Young wizard apprentice Simon is aided by an ambulatory hairball and Rowsdower the Conquerer in a bid to overthrow the evil wizard Sherpa. What, it's Sherka? Whatever. Lots of people have proclaimed this the best episode of Season 11, so get ready for some massive goofiness folks. In host segment news, a plot line develops that takes us to the end of the season. Yeah yeah, just don't let it get in the way of the riffing guys! Episode 1110 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 14, 2017 - 13 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: YONGARY, MONSTER FROM THE DEEP  Season 11, Ep 9

A monster movie from South Korea, in which a petroleum-eating monster awakened from the Middle East attacks Seoul. Whatever geopolitical metaphor is intended by this is obscured by the fact that, oh Gamera, we have another little kid protagonist. Yongary's death scene is rather protracted. Ah, another little kid monster movie! And not a Kenny kid either, this is a full-on obnoxious lil brat along the lines of Time Of The Apes' Johnny, or that kid from Godzilla Vs. Megalon. When we meet this kid, he's aiming his superscience itch ray at relatives driving by in their car! There's a lot of other crazy on display here too. Episode 1109 is on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 7, 2017 - 14 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE LOVES OF HERCULES  Season 11, Ep 8

aka Hercules Vs. The Hydra, Gli Amori de Ercole. Hercules' wife is murdered, but it's okay, he finds a new love days later. Then an Amazon queen decides to pursue him as well. It's a collision course with wackiness! Or maybe more murder! Given the number of girlfriends and wives Herc has had throughout these interminable movies, why would any woman stick around with him? It's a death sentence! We're now halfway into Season 11, the Kickstarter-funded revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Pepla (singular peplum) provide for some of the most beloved classic episodes of MST (such as 408 HERCULES UNCHAINED and 410 HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN), but there are also some relatively boring ones. Fan reaction to this episode, at least, seems divided. Episode 1108 can be viewed on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 1, 2017 - 14 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT  Season 11, Ep 7

"The Adventure You Will Never Forget!" A cramped German U-Boat (which nonethless houses a spacious captain's cabin and dining table!) in WWI sinks a passenger ship but the survivors make it aboard and take it over, then not. But the crewmen and survivors form a truce for survival when they find a mysterious land where live primitive men, dinosaurs, and volcanoes. An okay episode overall, but it does have the "Moon 14 Mesozoic Ranch Dinosaur BBQ" sketch, and one where Crow frets about turning into a human. Episode 1107 can be viewed on Netflix. Unriffed, the movie is on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 24, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ESCAPE 2000  Season 7, Ep 5

AKA Escape From The Bronx, The Bronx Warriors 2. The people living in a ludicrously named hellscape called the "Bronx" (yeah, right), beloved by its remaining residents because at least its our hellscape, tries to keep out an evil, murderous construction company. Wikipedia notes that this is actually a sequel! I bet that leaves you fully sprinting to Wikipedia to discover Trash's backstory. The next show is the final Comedy Central episode. YouTube (1h33m) Promo Premiered March 2, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 17, 2017 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: STARCRASH  Season 11, Ep 6

"From a vast and distant galaxy... a Space Adventure for all Time!" Clothes-adverse, redundantly-named smuggler Stella Star, her Magic Space Friend Akton, and Robo-Yosemite Sam are called by Emperor Plummer to his grand Starship Kitbash, to entrust them with the search for both a huge space weapon and his lost young Prince Hasselhoff, from among the haunted theme worlds of the colored-bulb cosmos. Some people really like this movie (Better than Star Wars?) but you can't deny it's remarkably ridiculous, even by this show's standards. It's even had its own MeFi post! Also unusual for MST3K is an exceptionally high-powered cameo, by Joel's friend Jerry Seinfeld, as investor Freak Masterstroke. And of considerable interest to MSTies is the fact that former Brains Bill Corbett, Mary Jo Pehl and Paul Chaplin helped write this one! Episode 1106 is available for viewing on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 17, 2017 - 25 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN  Season 7, Ep 4

"The First New Horror Creature... Come Prepared!" An irradiated astronaut returns to Earth and, horribly deformed, starts killing people. 'I Can't Believe It's Not Monster A-Go-Go!' Satellite News informs us that the host segments in this one, depicting Dr. F and Pearl making a film out of Crow's screenplay Earth Vs. Soup, were them getting even with Hollywood types who were the source of much pain during the making of MST: The Movie, and that their performances call back to specific people they met. Fan consensus is this is a very good episode, but I'm not a fan of gore myself so I've not seen it much. Everyone take note: after this, there are only two Comedy Central episodes left, and thus only two episodes remaining with Trace Beaulieu. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered February 24, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 11, 2017 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF HOLLOW MOUNTAIN  Season 11, Ep 5

We're in the Old West! The owner of Rancho Bonito, Jimmy, is losing cattle to the quicksand bog. The local claim an ancient legendary beast is behind the losses, but Jimmy suspects foul play on the part of evil rancher and black marketer Enrique, whose thugs have been bothering Jimmy for a while. Helping him is his partner Felipe, and recovering alcoholic and Mexican stereotype and his son Pancho and Panchito. Matters are pretty tense between Jimmy and Enrique, and it doesn't help when Enrique's girl Sarita takes a liking to Jimmy either, so the two have a dust-up in town. Jimmy decides to leave town in order to protect Sarita. We're two acts down and nearly two-thirds through the movie. We're right on schedule for a traditional third act cowboy movie showdown, right? AND THEN THE CLAYMATION DINOSAUR ATTACKS.... It is no joke, that is exactly what happens in the movie. It's like they really wanted to make a Western, but could only get funding for a monster movie. It is the most stunning, least-telegraphed sudden left turn I've ever seen in a movie, and I'm including Monster A-Go-Go's ending in this. There is a particularly bizarre host segment in this episode where the bots nearly make not just Jonah but even the Mads hysterical with their antics. Episode 1105 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 10, 2017 - 28 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AVALANCHE  Season 11, Ep 4

"A winter wonderland becomes a nightmare of destruction!" A bunch of characters at a resort built by Rock Hudson's character fall victim to his hubris when his construction practices contribute to a disaster. Note that Hudson's character comes through the movie unharmed, because who cares about justice. Be on the lookout for a song from Neil Patrick Harris, singing with Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt, and a list of made-up bad animal/disaster movie titles along the lines of Sharknado. Episode 1104 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 4, 2017 - 27 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DEATHSTALKER AND THE WARRIORS FROM HELL  Season 7, Ep 3

"The Most Action-Packed Deathstalker Yet!" A smug sword guy roams a standard fantasy realm trying to overthrow an evil wizard or something. General consensus is this is a terrific episode. The movie is deeply cheesy and bad, and yet the others in its series are just as bad but also contain tons more nudity, so count yer blessings! Plus great riffing, classic movie lines like "Potatoes are what we eat!", and a bunch of Lord of the Rings references before they were cool. Host segments take on Renaissance festivals and romance novels. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered February 17, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 3, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BRUTE MAN  Season 7, Ep 2

"Towering NEW Terror! No woman safe from his crushing arms..." A guy with acromegaly is kiling people, but when he takes refuge from the police in a blind girl's house he finds himself moved to help her. He goes and steals to pay for an operation that could cure her, but also kills people because I guess old habits die hard. The police punch his ticket, but for some reason she gets the operation anyway. With short The Chicken of Tomorrow: The hazy future promises advances in the raising of chickens. Science marches on! Poor Rondo Hatton died shortly after this movie was made, from the very acromegaly that established him as "The Creeper." Although the short is great, this is one of the worse episodes of Season Seven unfortunately. Host segments are interesting though, with Pearl's date having to face off with a surprisingly protective Dr. Forrester. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered February 10, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 26, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE TIME TRAVELERS  Season 11, Ep 3

"Step through 'The Time Portal' beyond the crack in Space and Time where the fantastic world of the Future will freeze your blood with its weird horrors!" Three smart scientists and a goofball travel forward in time and get stranded there, where a cadre of Eloi future scientists desperately ready a rocket to space to take them from a devistated Earth peopled with Morlocks murderous mutants. But then things go wrong.... This is a movie where the main force driving the plot is a Gilligan, a clueless klutz who, by walking through the time portal and forcing the others to follow to rescue him, messes it up for everyone. Way to go Danny. And he gets rewarded for his thoughtless act with multicolor time nookie! It's a pretty good episode. Episode 1103 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 24, 2017 - 32 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST  Season 7, Ep 1

"No girl was safe as long as this HEAD HUNTING THING roamed the land!" An astronaut dies on reentry. Aliens are emerging from his skin, including one really big one that roams the countryside, stopping watches. Everyone wants to kill it except the astronaut, who is now not dead and full of shrimp. With short Once Upon a Honeymoon: More celestial interfering with mortal affairs, this time with an angel helping a composer write a jingle so he and his wife can go on their honeymoon. Roger Corman again, this is his next-to-last featured movie. Daddy-O informs us that the exactly same costume and location were used in 315 TEENAGE CAVEMAN. This is a weird episode because there are two sets of host segments. The first showing was on Turkey Day 1995 and an alternate storyline was written involving Thanksgiving dinner with many of the show's Comedy Central movie cameo characters, making this a nice retrospective on the CC years. Because this is the first episode of the infamous Season Seven, only six episodes long and the end of the show's run on that channel. 701 701T (1h32m) Turkey Day '95 extra bits & alternate host segments Premiered: 701T on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1995; 701 on February 3, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 19, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: REPTILICUS  Season 11, Ep 1

"INVINCIBLE... INDESTRUCTABLE! What was this awesome BEAST born fifty million years out of time?" Miners find some leathery tissue deep in a mine which grows into a monster and attacks Copenhagen, not a city built to withstand monster attack, with deadly cartoon slime. Also, a goofy handyman in overalls sticks his hand in an electric eel tank apparently just so he could make faces to the camera. A fine example of cinema! MST3K is back! With it comes new mads (Kinga and Max), a new host (Jonah Ray), higher production values, fancy interstitials, a skeleton band, a remix of Mighty Science Theater and the Wild Rebels cereal song at the end, and a long listing of Kickstarter backers at the end which doesn't even get out of the As in this episode. Episode 1101 is on Netflix. Premiered TODAY, April 14th, 2017. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 14, 2017 - 106 comments

Movie: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

[MST3K: The Movie] "Every Year Hollywood Makes Hundreds of Movies. This Is One of Them!" A mad scientist performs an experiment on a man he has trapped in a low-budget space station: he makes him watch the movie This Island Earth, with the hopes of using it as a tool to conquer the world. The man and two robot friends defend their sanity by making fun of the movie, for their (and presumably our) amusement. [This Island Earth] "The Supreme Excitement of Our Time!" Handsome bold Guy Scientist and smart-and-sexy Lady Scientist are abducted into OUTER SPAAACE by Exeter, an alien with a BIG FOREHEAAAD, to help in their doomed war. MST3K the Movie came between Season Six and Season Seven of the show. It is unique for the show in many ways: it was shown in theaters, it is much shorter than an episode of the show (it's actually shorter than an unedited version of the movie they riff!), there's only two host segments, and there's only one Mad, Dr. Forrester, what with TV's Frank having left in 624. It's a pretty good entry point for the show in general, which might be useful considering what's happening in three days.... MST3K: The Movie is not available on YouTube. Premiered April 18th, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 12, 2017 - 19 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN  Season 6, Ep 23

"A NATION AT HIS MERCY!" "INVISIBLE and DEADLY" Ahem! An escaped convict teams up with a mad scientist and gets turned invisibabble, but then have a disagreement as to how he should use his invisibabibility. With short The Days of Our Years: A minister tells us about his parishiners, who have to a man all been maimed, blinded or killed by machines, because God is just and holy. The poster for this movie, besides comparing the antagonist to a fart, also warned that the invisible man himself had vowed to make a personal appearance in every theater showing the film. Sigh. There is a particularly hilarious pre-movie host segment here, where Dr. F and Frank, as "Auntie McFrank," ask Mike and the bots to provide "local color" for their bed and breakfast. "Y'all got any matches for Mikey?" Jonah Ray is going to have a hard time living up this. We've also got a great short, the second of the two railroad-sponsored industrials, this one devoted to telling us about all the ways terrible, terrible machinery wages war against its creators. By the way, this is "TV's" Frank Conniff's penultimate show as Dr. F's assistant. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered March 18, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 29, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ANGELS REVENGE  Season 6, Ep 22

aka Angels' Brigade. "They're Blow You Away!" Seven young women in skintight clothes unconvincingly battle right-wing militia and neighborhood drug dealers. An obvious knockoff of Charlie's Angels, the slime just drips off this movie. In addition to Jim Backus (Misters Howell and Magoo), this movie also has Alan Hale Jr. (The Skipper!), a return appearance by Jack Palance, and also Pat "Mr. Haney" Buttram, Peter Lawford and Arthur Godfrey as himself. This one hurts. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered March 11, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 23, 2017 - 11 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS  Season 6, Ep 21

"Special Guest Star playing a double Role TOR JOHNSON as the Beast" A Soviet scientist wanders the titular flats after getting subjected to moviedom's favorite evil-causing MacGuffin, radiation. Coleman Francis narrates most of his misadventures as he strangles his way through the wasteland while chased by policemen. At the end, dying, he caresses a rabbit. With two shorts: Money Talks, Because there's not a lot to do in the afterlife, the silhouetted ghost of Benjamin Franklin lectures a kid about saving and spending money wisely; and Progress Island U.S.A., Have you considered Puerto Rico? Because this short really, really thinks you should consider Puerto Rico. The last of the Coleman Francis trilogy. Although Paste Magazine's recent list (Metafilter) put this one near the bottom, both Satellite News and Mighty Jack think this is one of the best episodes. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 21, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 15, 2017 - 18 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DANGER! DEATH RAY  Season 6, Ep 20

aka "Il Raggio Infernale" A scientist invents a death ray--purely for peaceful purposes of course--and wouldn't you know it, its inventor gets kidnapped. It's up to James Bond expy Bart Fargo (Bart Fargo Bart Fargo Bart Fargo) to rescue him, to the tune of an unusually catchy soundtrack. Ba dup ba dup ba da da! While not as silly as 504 SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON or 508 OPERATION DOUBLE 007, that darn soundtrack, and the guys' fixation on it, help carry us through. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 7, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 9, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT  Season 6, Ep 18

"The Kid Who Showed the Big Time How!" A supposedly-intelligent high school student makes a series of progressively worse decisions that lead ultimately to the deaths or critical wounding of every major character. With short Out of This World: An angel and a devil each try to convince a bread deliveryman to join the light or dark sides, respectively, of bread delivery, leaving unexamined the incredible theological implications. Fan opinion of this Roger Corman movie varies widely, but I like it. The short is pretty good, one of those ridiculous industrials where supernatural entites take great interest in some poor dope's work-a-day life. This episode is not available on YouTube due to a copyright claim. Apparently the entity "BentPixels" is protective of their rights over either this secondary school film noir or the celestial battle for bread delivery to resort to legal solutions. The episode premiered December 10, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 23, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON  Season 6, Ep 17

aka "Ilya Mourometz" (USSR) "Eye-Filling Spectacle! Man Against Monsters!" "A cast of 106,000! 11,000 horses!" Russian folk hero Ilya Muromets is a chair-bound farmer who gains both the power to walk and the magic sword Invincor, and uses both to drive off the evil Tugars that threaten his land -- whose number includes his son. For once the opening ad blurbs and descriptions of this film aren't sarcastic, for this is a genuinely great movie, the third both of MST's treatments of the output of Russian director Aleksandr Ptushko. (The other two were 422 THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE and 505 THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD.) Yet, while the movie is terrific, it's also very strange, which makes it excellent riffing fodder. Wait until you see the wind demon. It all adds up to a rare episode where you can appreciate both the film and the jokes. Also contains a favorite host segment, the "Joke by Ingmar Bergman." YouTube (1h37m) Premiered December 3, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 16, 2017 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL  Season 6, Ep 14

"Jet Packed Drama at a Giant Air Terminal!" Pilot for a TV show featuring the wacky shenanigans dramatic occurrences at... (spins the Wheel of Television) ...a major airport. A staple of MST3K is the failed TV pilot that never went to series. Well ha ha, this one did make it to series, minus its whole cast except for Clu Galuger, whose name sounds like it should be sung by Huckleberry Hound. YouTube (1h33m) Premiered November 19, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 26, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE STARFIGHTERS  Season 6, Ep 12

"THE BLAZING ADVENTURE of the men and planes who rocket to the very edge of OUTER SPACE!" A young Air Force cadet, who is Actual Bob Dornan and manifestly unlikeable even then, learns to fly a new jet, but forget about that. Get ready for tons of hott thicc triple-X refueling action! Oooh god. This episode has gotten something of a legendary reputation because of its great inanity (you wouldn't BELIEVE how much refueling can be in a movie), and the pointless late-film introduction of the "poopie suit," and the riffing is pretty great. The host segments have some great moments too, with the highlight being the United Servo Academy Men's Chorus. But the movie BITES, much more than the average. YouTube (1h32m) Promo (They're playing Doom!) Premiered October 29, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 12, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD  Season 6, Ep 8

"One Man Stands Between the Release of a Deadly Gas and the Fate of the World." Quinn Martin, producer of 16 thousand TV shows, tried to make it 16,001 with this pilot that didn't get picked up. NBC instead showed it as a movie-of-the-week. Basically, a spy tries to stop double-agent "Tree" from selling a deadly deadly gas to a foreign power. With short A Day at the Fair: Relieve the days when rural families enjoyed themselves by meeting for agricultural exhibits once a year. The incredible excitement explodes off the screen! The short's actually okay, but the movie is serious dullsville. Even the ad quote above came from a VHS box. It's very easy to forget this episode even exists. What was I talking about again? YouTube (1h32m) Premiered October 10, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 7, 2016 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: COLOSSUS AND THE HEADHUNTERS  Season 6, Ep 5

aka Maciste Vs. The Headhunters. "In a Time of Titans, Colossus Towered Above All!!!" Overexposed Italian muscleman everybeef Maciste fights... (spins the wheel of antagonists) ...evil island tribesmen. Whoever the heck Colossus is, he's not in the movie. It's probably only an inability to shoehorn this into Greek myth that's the reason translators didn't try to turn this into another Hercules movie. This is the episode with Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter. Promos (1m) YouTube (1h32m) Premiered August 20, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 10, 2016 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE  Season 6, Ep 4

"Her Power Goes Beyond Life.... His Rage Survives Even Death!" A voodoo priestess revives a zombie. Okay forget that. A guy is knifed by thugs. Now forget that too. Years later, his way-too-beefy son thwarts robbers of a convenience store. It's when he exits the store that the movie really begins, as he's hit by a car driven by unruly teens. He's dead! But thanks to Ms. Voodoo, he can live again as a zombie and track down his killers, while three ineffectual policemen trace him, one of them sounding like Jim Baccus with a slow leak, and another being Actual Adam West. Oh, and Motorhead's "Ace of Spaces" is in there. The multiple prologues confused the heck out of me. Servo's Adam West impression sounds more like Shatner to me. YouTube (1h33m) Promo. Premiered November 24, 1994 (Thanksgiving Day). [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 2, 2016 - 23 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS  Season 5, Ep 23

"Teen-agers zoom to supersize and terrorize a town!" Opie invents a magic growth formula, called "Goo," that turns surly teens into Olympian gods! It's the beach party of Ragnarok, and boy, is Andy ever gonna be pissed! It's another low-budget schlockfest from the most prolific of all MST directors, Bert I. Gordon; indeed, it is the last of his films the show would do. Although MST had a rule against doing comedies, Village of the Giants is partly one, although with suspiciously low-grade jokes. The script is based off of H.G. Wells' Food of the Gods. Musical guests The Beau Brummels and Freddy Cannon give this film rather more star power than you might expect from Mr. BIG's projects. It's a pretty good episode! The movie's certainly riffing fare, but is still watchable and fun all the same. And in the host segments, prepare yourself for a visit from an old fiend.... YouTube (OFFICIAL, with Annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered January 22, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 29, 2016 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SANTA CLAUS  Season 5, Ep 21

"An Enchanting World of Make-Believe!" All the aspects of Santa Claus that have enchanted kids for centuries are here: his floating palace high above the North Pole, his working relationship with Merlin the Wizard, his magical surveillance equipment, the many kids he holds captive in his singing work-dungeon, and his unending battle against the forces of hell. Merry Christmas! The second of the two MST3K Christmas episodes, and if anything even better than the first one. Santa Claus, made to give Mexican children their own version of the myth, is a truly disturbing movie. I say it does have its merits: the story of poor Lupita and her family is saddening. But don't worry, there's plenty of madness on display too, and the riffing is excellent. One of the best episodes. YouTube (1h33m) Premiered Christmas Eve, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 8, 2016 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RADAR SECRET SERVICE  Season 5, Ep 20

Crooks don't stand a chance against the miracle science of RADAR, which can track down cars as long as they're moving. It's produced by demon prince Robert Lippert and directed by his archfiend Sam Newfield, so expect to be bored right to death. With short Last Clear Chance: Union Pacific wants you to be safe around their incredibly deadly, whisper-quiet trains, which, thirsty for blood, lurk at crossings, ready to strike. Why don't they look? Great short! The movie, however, is at true test of your MSTie endurance. The riffing is pretty good for most of it, about as good as you can expect from such a gray, static pile of film as this. It is a film that would lead aliens to conclude the planet Earth could hold no joy. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered December 18, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 25, 2016 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: OUTLAW  Season 5, Ep 19

aka "Outlaw of Gor," "Gor II." "The Adventure of a Thousand Lifetimes Continues!" "Fuera de la Ley de GOR" While John Carter fell asleep in a cave and woke up on Mars, one thing author John Norman's creation Gor has over Burroughs' Barsoom books is that at least Tarl Cabot has a magic ring to explain his ridiculous translocation to Barbarian Planet. You know Barbarian Planet, it's a world based on one of those oft-written-about fantasy times that never really existed historically, but all kinds of folk like to imagine, from Howard to Gygax. Well, at least this version has Jack Palance! When this episode aired, the movie was just four years old! I'm not sure it ever got a release in theaters in the US. Although he did it under a pseudonym, the main screenwriter is the same Harry Alan Towers who did the screenplay for 323 THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU. Fortunately this movie is tons more watchable, thanks to massive amounts of flesh (both male and female, it's an equal opportunity exhibitor) and excellent riffing. One of the host segments refers to all the skin, one of the best sketches and songs MST ever did: Tubular Boobular Joy. Notes on Gor itself are after the break. Official YouTube, with annotations! (1h32m) Premiered December 11, 1993. If you want to fill in the blanks with the movie this is a sequel to (may god have mercy on your soul), here it is! (1h30m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 17, 2016 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: MITCHELL  Season 5, Ep 12

"Brute Force With a Badge" "Joe Don Baker IS 'MITCHELL'!" Our lead is not so much an anti-hero as an un-hero. Police Detective (really?) Mitchell has little social skill, no friends besides his beer, and a disdain for the rules some would call incompetence. But sometimes, a man like Mitchell is just the cop we need to drunkenly stumble through the case. One of the funniest episodes of the show. Our hero is hilariously inept, but ends up being heroic mostly because, the movie seems to suggest, he's too stupid to be corrupt. Joel and the bots are at the top of their game here. This is show creator Joel Hodgson's final episode as host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. YouTube, with annotations (1h32m). Premiered October 23, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 27, 2016 - 23 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: GUNSLINGER  Season 5, Ep 11

"Hired to kill the woman he loved!" A woman's husband is shot and, through line of succession, she is hired as the new sheriff. When she tells a local whorehouse to close at night, its proprietor hires a gunman to kill her. But he falls in love with her! How will this wacky situation end? In blood, natch. Corman alert! He uses one of his main actresses, Beverly Garland, who we saw in 503 SWAMP DIAMONDS, to lead this one. Daddy-O tells us this was his last Western. A couple of weird continuity issues are the subject of much mockery from Joel and the bots, especially in one of the later host segments. Speaking of whom, we approach the end of the Joel Hodgson era--the next episode is his last. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered October 9, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 22, 2016 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PAINTED HILLS  Season 5, Ep 10

"Packed with thrills!" Prospector Jonathan is murdered by his partner in an attempt to jump his claim, but the scoundrel didn't count on the valor of Jon's faithful collie, who is driven by VENGENCE! Vengence, and SNAUSAGES! With short Body Care and Grooming: A narrator reminds college students of the shame of not adjusting your appearance to social norms. Another good short, and the first Western MST did -- and the second is the very next episode. (No, I'm not counting the "space western" MOON ZERO TWO.) Furthermore, this is actually a Lassie movie; they took the famous meta-collie's name off the movie for some releases, which is just as well as the dog's name in the movie is actually Shep. Daddy-O informs us that Paul Kelly, the actor who played Jonathan, the victim in the movie, spent two years in prison for manslaughter! This episode contains the last short Joel riffed for MST3K, and there are only two other Joel episodes left.... YouTube (1h31m Premiered September 26, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 15, 2016 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: OPERATION DOUBLE 007  Season 5, Ep 8

aka Operation Kid Brother, aka O.K. Connery. "NEIL CONNERY IS TOO MUCH" "Such close friends. Such beautiful enemies." The evil organization Thanatos, staffed primarily by a horde of young scantily-clad women who for some reason follow a middle-aged bald guy, threatens the world with their machine-breaking superweapon. It's just another Thursday at Secret Spy HQ, which by the way is staffed by a number of familiar faces. But the usual secret agent sent to solve these issues, you know the one, can't make it, so they recruit his plastic surgeon brother, to save the world. Fortunately, he's pretty much omnipotent. This movie is overflowing with weirdness, and it's another great episode. Example 1: it's scored partly by Ennio Morricone! Example 2: they got M (Bernard Lee) and Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) from the Bond movies to play similar roles with different names! Example 3: The Thanatos girls. I mean, have some self respect ladies. This episode has one of my personal favorite host segments, Joel's "I Know" sketch. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered September 11, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 1, 2016 - 6 comments

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